Purpose of this blog

Dmitry Yudo aka Overlord, jack of all trades
David Lister aka Listy, Freelancer and Volunteer

Monday, December 31, 2012

[WoWS] Happy New Year!

Happy New Year everyone!

2012 was a hard year for World of Warships team.
We changed conceptions and expanded maps couple times, we fought and keep fighting for FPS rate, we tuned ship movement like hundred times; in 2012 WoWS got Hit Location system and great ballistics. We even implemented flooding!

In 2012 we held three gameplay Focus Tests, to ensure that we are moving the right way - and every time people told us "That's a great game!". From 4x4 BB only format we came to 8x8 BB/CA, and the FT3 got 12x12 BB/CA/CV.

There are still many things to do: torpedo bombers, complex HL, upgrades and presets for ships, etc.
But I can tell you that we will do everything and even more to make the great game for you!

Happy New Year!
See you in 2013!


Saturday, December 29, 2012

[WoT] On SPGs and MMing

Too many SPGs in battles is one of the persistent issues in WoT. It does affect the gameplay and can change the perception of the entire game.

Additional match-making requirements that are already live on RU servers and pending implementation worldwide are the following:

5 SPGs per team is a so called semi-hard cap which means 5 is maximum number of SPGs per team if the battle is created correctly, ie without any errors. The prerequisites for that are relatively high CCU (that's why might be somewhat hard for NA server) and no particular imbalance or disproportion between vehicle classes in waiting queue.

In addtion to the above the SPG-cap for high tier battles is floating and varies from 2 to 5 arty units per team.

Simplifying things, battles are created by the server in succession with different SPG limits: 2, 3, 4, 5, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc

For lower tiers the limits are a bit different and depend on the average SPG percentage for that particular battle tier.

Such matchmaking adjustment will increase waiting time in queue for all tanks:
- for tanks/TDs the increase is going to be relatively small - up to a few seconds (under normal conditions)
- for SPGs the increase is going to be more noticeable - up to 30-60 seconds in worst cases.

The cap mechanics was chosen taking into account possible increase of waiting time. The harder the cap and the more restrictions, the longer waiting times. Especially for less-populated servers (on single RU cluster there can be 140-200k players)

Friday, December 28, 2012

[WoT] Misc

Some misc info in this post.

Get Expert Opinion: Soviet Edition is now locked for new questions.

Follow the blog updates to check Pasholok's replies. Next week I'm going to post the last batch of Q&A with Doyle.

As a continuation of the famous hatred thread, below are the results of the related poll:

What annoys me most is ...
  1. 0 damage hits - 786 (32%) - that's one of the persistent complex issues to be seen to in 2013
  2. Arty parties - 636 (26%) - going to post some more info on possible solution
  3. No skill-based matchmaking - 220 (9%) - just no way
  4. Lack of tactics in random - 181 (7%) - some pre-launch IQ test?
  5. Visibility / spotting system - 168 (7%) - no overhaul planned for now
  6. 25% randomization roll - 121 (5%) - not subject to change
  7. Insufficient optimization and bugs - 116 (4%) - 8.2 did a great job, however this is a continuous task
  8. lack of game modes - 93 (3%) - more game modes are in plans
  9. smth else - 40 (1%)
  10. Ramming / TK damage system - 30 (1%)

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

[WoWS] People, Who Are Making the Game for You

Hi guys!

I came up with a great idea to introduce you those who’ve been developing the highly anticipated naval MMO World of Warships.

Let's start!

Anrew Gashkov aka Tarn, Lead Producer for World of Warships
It is he who makes final decisions on gameplay, economics, balancing and other project’s issues. He is also acts a mediator between Minsk and Saint Petersburg offices, promptly acting if something goes wrong.

Ivan Moroz aka Black Warrior, Production Producer for WoWS
An extremely experienced game industry professional, who’s published dozens of titles, including notable Pacific Storm by Lesta Studio.

Malik Khatajaev, General Manager at Lesta Studio (Wargaming’s St.Petersburg studio responsible for WoWS development)
The real stager at game industry, who founded the studio more than 21 years ago. Being a merit professional manager, he is also famous for creating comfortable and cozy atmosphere within World of Warships development team. 

Danila Volkov aka Danny, WoWS Project Manager
His will-to-win spirit and eagerness do their best for World of Warships’ future success.

Petr Porai-Koshitс aka PPK, Head of Game Design at Lesta Studio
An unbelievably creative person who leads GD-team with his ideas on how to implement just the best game features. 

Slava Makarov, the mighty Vice President of Wargaming. Each upcoming title by Wargaming depends on his approval and – just believe me – World of Warships’ strategic vision is in safe hands. 

Slava Goncharov aka Uldor, Historical Consultant of our game
He is the person who seeks the best references, drawings and blueprints for every ship, which will be delivered in the game just for you. 

Well, that's me, Alexey Levakov aka KGB. Being a producer for World of Warships, sometimes I perform as a talking head… As you can see, I’m incredibly fond of DSLRs (and mirrorless cameras), though I’m far from calling myself a professional photographer.

Vladimir Gremitskiy. Guess, who's the Head of Art Department? Yes, exactly the person, who’s looking at you with sharp eyes from the picture. His religious exactitude and thorough attention to details let us be sure that World of Warships is going to have the highest quality ship models ever made. 

Polina Malisheva is a Creative Director at Lesta Studio. Her experience and inapproachable artistic taste are the traits that will reliably assure World of Warships a perfect look. 

These are the people patiently developing World of Warships. In the near future you will get a chance to evaluate the result of their joint efforts and talents, playing our ass-kicking game! 

Thanks for reading, folks.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

[ALL] Happy Holidays 2012!

The year 2012 has been amazing and extremely eventful for us. I tried to make the summary short, but..

Minsk, Belarus
In blossoming World of Tanks we have seen 9 major releases bringing huge changes and massive improvements, from those I would especially mark out the legendary (yes!) 8.0 with new physics and updated graphic render and the long-awaited introduction of British tanks later in 8.1.
The upcoming year is going to be similarly successful with all the stuff planned.

Kyiv, Ukraine
Second major product of the series - World of Warplanes entered the closed beta in late May. The game had its own ups and downs, natural for its early stage. The massive and extremely secret (!) overhaul of the many persistent issues has almost been finished by now and we will definitely be glad to present the results some time in Q1 2013.

World of Tanks Generals, a collectible card online game, is currently at alpha stage and doing very good. Expect lots of new from this side in 2013.   

Saint-Petersburg, Russia
World of Warships was only announced in mid 2012 (even though had been in development for some time before that) but has done just awesome progress since then, the feedback from various focus tests has been scarily positive so far. And believe my word, the game will come up to your expectations. The first testing stage is coming in foreseeable future.

Somewhere in WG's basements in Siberia
Above are titles that have been announced by now, which doesn't mean we are not trying to broaden our horizons soon. For sure, you are going to discover a lot new in 2013.

Now to the key point. Thank you for staying with us throughout this period. All the best to you and your families!

Merry Christmas and happy New Year! Stay around in 2013 and see you in battles - ground, aerial, and naval ones. May luck be on your side:)

Always yours,

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

[ALL] Bookworm Party

Following the two book-related posts here and there, let's discuss what books you would be interested in.

Tanks, warplanes, warships, particular models and weapons, history of combat and tactics, etc?

Digital copy, hardback, paperback?

English will do? Or other native languages preferred?

Acceptable price tag?

Amount of images?

Other ideas?

Monday, December 17, 2012

[WoT] Get Expert Opinion: Soviet Edition

UPDATED. December 27. Thread closed. Thank you for the questions.

Q&A sessions on German tanks with Mr. Hilary L. Doyle appeared to be rather popular. As a continuation of this good tradition now you have a chance to ask World of Tanks warfare expert Yuriy Pasholok who has got outstanding knowledge of tanks in general with his primary specialization being Soviet tanks. He is also the co-author of recently published Maus book.

Post your questions in comments to this post, I will shortlist everything with love and care and subsequently provide replies the way I did with Doyle's ones splitting them into bulletins. The deadline for your questions is December 23.

While considering what exactly to ask, keep in mind that Pasholok may not be familiar with advanced game concepts and game design issues, thus try to keep your queries more reality-related than WoT-related (Yuriy prefers 1:1 scale vehicles, if you know what I mean ;)).

PS: you can repost old Qs from this thread, since there were few of them on Soviet tanks.  

Ask away!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

[WoWS] Previously Unknown Designs

Hi everyone,

I told you that my second post would be about ship blueprints and design, so here it is:

As some of you may know, the Yzuru Hiraga is the famous Japanese naval architect of the beginning of the 20th century. Such ships as Yubari, Yamashiro, Nagato are a part of his work.
Moreover, in 1916 he became a chief engineering director of the Eight-eight fleet program, according to which by the 1927 Imperial Japanese Navy must have had 8 top class fast battleships and 8 top class battlecruisers.

I will come back to this program in future posts, but now I want you guys to know, what could be one of the starting point of completely different IJN:

Here you can see one of the preliminary dreadnought designs, based on the famous Mikasa.
This blueprint was found in the Hiraga's archive, and is dated as 1903/1904 design - the time of ironclads sunset, the time where Russian Imperial Fleet was still alive, the time before Russo-Japanese War.

The ship is approximately 18000 tons displacement, has four main caliber turrets with dual 305mm 45 caliber guns, and can probably go as fast as 18-19 knots; it is very similar to South Carolina/Michigan, isn't it?

We all know, that the first dreadnoughts built for IJN were Settsu and Kawachi, but this particular design shows us, that history could have gone another way, and who knows, how could it change the future?..


Friday, December 14, 2012

[WoWS] Answering Questions

So, let us start with the answers on previous World of Warships related post.

First of all, I'd like to say that many questions are already answered in corresponding topics on NA forums:


I'll try to answer all questions, that I consider worth answering.

1. What ships classes will there be in:
Battleships/Battlecruisers, Aircraft Carriers, Cruisers Light/Cruisers Heavy and Destroyers.

2. Maneuvering will be very important, because active maneuvering will help you to dodge incoming shells, like in real life. Of course I mean shells, that were fired from long distances - 20km and more.

3. We will start with WoT-like "capture the base" mode, with one or two bases. There of course will be more game modes at start, but I can't say anything about them yet.

4. Alpha testing of World of Warships will not begin this year. Expect Spring or even Summer 2013.

5. We will use our own matchmaker system, with some limits in quantity of some ship classes per battle.

6. For customization of ship's armament: we will use a preset system, which can be described as a whole bunch of weapons, FCS, etc, that can be researched and installed at once.
There of course will be some player-manually-selectable parts of ship configuration, but the main ship's fighting capabilities will depend on what preset is bought and installed.

7. There won't be upgradeable main caliber guns for Yamato and possibly for Montana and Iowa class BBs.
The reason is that these guns are good and more than enough to sink anything.

8. Players will be able to research and upgrade planes on their CVs; the mechanism will be similiar to research and upgrades of guns/turrets for tanks in WoT.

9. There will most possibly be a limit to at least one type of each plane type squadron on a CV, so that players cannot use fighters only or bombers only CVs.

10. No preliminary tech trees now, sorry. All I can tell, that I'm the person who is actually making the trees with the help of historical consultants, of course :)

11. CAs/CLs/DDs will be able to use torpedoes, of course. The question whether BBs and BCs will be able to use torpedoes is still open among our dev team.

12. Bismarck/Tirpiz class post-Washington BBs will of course be a part of HSF/KM  BB tree.

13. About naval strategies, blueprints and so on - I'll make posts on this topics, of course.

14. No, our gameplay mechanics won't mimic Battlestations game series.

15. We are trying to make a balanced ship trees and a balanced differences between different classes.

16. Our first nations will be the USA and Japan, as nations with biggest navies in WWII.

That is all for today.
Feel free to ask more questions, though my next post will be about ship blueprints.


[WoT] How Is 8.2?

So 8.2 for World of Tanks is now out for both EU and NA servers. Time to share your thoughts.

What's your first impression? Encountered any critical or strange bugs / faults?

Any other relevant feedback? Fire away!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

[WoWS] Extra Talking Head

I'm glad to present you the following:

Hello, boys and girls!

Let me introduce myself: my name is Alex Levakov, and I'm  producer of World of Warships, you may know me as KGB on NA and RU forums.

I've kindly asked Overlord to let me post in his blog, and he agreed, so you can start waiting to get some news about World of Warships from the first hands!

Now, what exactly do you expect to hear from me? What topics should I cover first? 

I'll post things about ship designs mostly, though some useable information about what is going on in the development of World of Warships in common. Post your ideas in comments to this post.


Hope you, guys will enjoy it. Mind who is the author of each new post from now on. :)

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

[WoT] Your Global War

Clan wars development has been rather... hm... let's say, slow lately. However, this is determined to change in future.

What new features and content would you like to be added?
More territories, historical/non-historical events, seasons for global map, wipe (!), mercenaries, clan tanks, more strategic elements (buildings and other objects to construct)? Anything else?

Any feedback counts!

Friday, December 7, 2012

[WoT] Doyle, Kubinka, and Much More. Part 8: Fifth Answer Bulletin

This post is the continuation of Q&A session with H. L. Doyle, well-known German WWII military exert. See previous post. Doyle's replies are bolded (just in case). 

 41.    Aside from the obvious advantage of not requiring rubber, what advantages did the German use of interleaved road wheels have over allied suspension types, such as the Christie or E8 suspension?

Steel tired road wheels were adopted for heavy tanks by both the Russians and the Germans.  In this design the rubber tyre still existed but was imbedded internally in the steel  wheel where it was protected from abnormal wear and tear.  The drawing below show a very good comparison of conventional Panther wheels and the steel tired wheels that were in the process of introduction at the end of the war.  

42.    I have heard that in early model panther tanks there was a design fault in the turret ring which meant that if the gun was fired with the turret facing 90 degrees to either the left or right from the front plate, the turret would come off the tank under the force of recoil. Is this true?

I have never seen any evidence of such a design fault and would doubt that it ever happened.  The Panther turret was simply an up-scaled version of the tried and tested designs already used on the Pz.Kpfw.III and IV. 

German turrets were constructed with the turret race built as part of the turret.  The complete assembly was then mounted on the tank hull making the levelling and alignment easy.   At least for British tanks the turret race was usually built into the hull before the turret was mounted.  This complicated the subsequent alignment.  I do not know the practice for US or Russian Tank turrets.  However, in Allied reports after the war, the German practice of integrating of the turret race with the turret was noted as worth adopting.

43.    Was the Sturmpanzer 1 ever used for indirect artillery support? or was it mainly an interim assault gun?

Sturmpanzer 1 is a name invented in recent years by modellers to make this expedient self-propelled gun more “exciting”.  The correct and only designation was  “15cm S.I.G. (Mot S) auf Pz.Kpfw.I ohne Aufbau Ausf.B”

Thirty eight of these self-propelled guns were completed in February 1940.  Six Panzer Divisions each received a company to provide mobile artillery support.  The gun, Schwereinfantriegeschuetz 33 (S.I.G. 33), was developed to provide infantry with large calibre high explosive artillery support.  The complete S.I.G. 33 with wheels was loaded onto the chassis of a Pz.Kpfw.I Ausf.B and the result was very effective as it allowed quick deployment.  In fact a few were still in service in mid 1943. 

Obviously, the Pz.Kpfw.I only had thin armour but the shield surrounding the gun was even weaker as it was only designed to protect the crew from lead bullets.  As such it was not intended to be used as an Assault gun.

44.    Do you think any of the Second World War German tanks (production and prototype) such as the Panther, King tiger, E-75 and Panther II would be able to reliably compete with any of the allied post war designs as they do in world of tanks? (such as the US M46, M103 or Russian T-54 and IS-7)

If one discounts the collapse of German industry in 1945 it is possible to extrapolate German Panzer developments for about two years. 

In the final weeks of 1945 the new Panther Ausf.F had entered production.  The hull was deemed very satisfactory and only had minor improvements compared to the Panther Ausf.G.  As I mentioned before Maybach had already been testing more powerful versions of the motor. 

The big innovation was a brand new Schmalturm (narrow turret) which eliminated frontal weakness of the older turret and even reduced the weight.  A full width rangefinder was mounted in the turret which combined with the existing highly accurate and successful 7.5cm K.w.K 42 L/70 would have increased the possibility of  the all important first round hits.  

The Panther Ausf.F had the capability to be an excellent all round work horse for a number of years even without other innovations that were planned. The design of the Schmalturm allowed for mounting of larger weapons such as the 8.8cm K.w.K 43 L/71.  The Germans were also experimenting with autoloaders and gyro stabilisation to further improve gunnery performance.

Similar improvements were underway for the Tiger Ausf.B.  A turret capable of taking an even wider rangefinder was already in production at the end of the War and the more powerful motor was expected.

As mentioned in my answer for Question 30 the E series was envisaged by Kniepkamp (Civilian Head of Automotive design) only to explore future components especially engines, transmissions and suspensions.  Production contracts were not yet envisaged so we do not know that then next steps might have been.

In answer to question 4 I pointed out that the Panther II was an very early project that was dropped after the invention of Schuerzen plates on the Panther Ausf.D  in 1943.

45.    I want to know why the Germans numbered Panther as Pz 5 and Tiger as Pz 6. If Panther was newer, and better in battlefield, and even wasn't in parallel development with tiger Pz 6.

Why German designations were so complicated and diverse is one of the great unanswered questions.  Firstly, the design firms had their own designations, secondly, the different procurement and Army agencies used different designations for the same vehicle and all of these changed over time.   In our Panzer Tracts Books we set out a table of the various designation and their time line.

In the primary source records for the Tiger the original title used by the firms was VK.45.01 (Volkettenfahrzeuge 45 ton class, first design) this was in July 1941.  Wa.Pruef 6 used the designation “Pz.Kpfw.VI Ausf.H1 (VK.45.01)” for the first time three months later in October 1941 and Pz.Kpfw.VI was used on some documents until December 1942.  The name Tiger only appeared in February 1942.

With the Panther it was different with the name Panther appearing already in March 1942.  The designation Pz.Kpfw .V came in for a period starting in July 1942.

46.    Could you maybe explain what the advantages and knowledge was around that time of having front or rear transmission?

In 1928 the Germans began to experiment with tank designs using the latest technology of the time.  Three companies – Daimler-Benz, Krupp and Rheinmetall were responsible for the Grosstraktor and Leichttraktor designs all of which feature rear drive.  After extensive testing of these tanks in Russia at Kama, near Kasan, from 1929 to 1933 the Neubaufahrzeuge was ordered.  The Neubaufahrzeuge again featured rear drive.

The development of the Pz.Kpfw.I tank was shortened by purchasing three Carden-Loyd Light Tractors from England and basing the new tank on that design.  Thereafter, the Germans favoured front wheel drive.  I have never seen an explanation for this change from rear to front. 

47.    How effective HE rounds were in tank-tank combat, and I’d also like to hear more about the accuracy of tank-mounted guns at that time?

The normal German Panzergranate (armour piercing round) had a high explosive charge which detonated on penetration.  The Sprengranate (high explosive round) was not intended to be used to penetrate armour but for general purpose attacks on light armoured and soft skinned vehicles or infantry targets.  However, a detonation of a Sprengrenaten on or near an enemy tank could cause damage and disorient the crew leaving the tank vulnerable to further attack.

As mentioned before I do not have documents on accuracy although the do exist in the archives.  Anectdotally the 7,5cm K.w.K 42 L/70 of the Panther and the 7,5cm PaK 40 L/46 were regarded as the most accurate of the German guns.  However, records of 1943 to 1945 tank battles indicate that engagements were often ended after on or other side expended all of their ammunition.  The German troops were always asking for greater ammunition storage in their Panzers.

48.    How fast did the Henschel tiger's turret rotate?

Question 33 can be answered with this information also. 

The British technical examination found that The Tiger Ausf.E had a two speed hydraulic power traverse. The gunner could selected the desired speed with a gear lever and then using a pivoting foot pedal he could push on the forward end to traverse right and push on the back to traverse left.  The speed also depended upon the main engine speed so in high gear 360 degree traverse would take only 60 seconds.  At idle speed the same 360 degrees took 360 seconds.  If for any reason main engine was not running then gunner and the commander were equipped with manually operated hand wheels to traverse the turret.  2 rotations of a hand wheel gave a 1 degree traverse. The final fine adjustment was always done with the gunners hand wheel.  The British examiners found these arrangements very satisfactory.

49.    What materials were used to make the armour of the Panther and King Tiger?

Materials have not been a focus in my AFV research so I have not made copies of the many reports on armour I have seen in various archives.  The British had a very thorough technical examination system for captured vehicles and issued a number of reports on armour.

Following the collapse of Germany Allied Intelligence teams were specifically tasked with gaining immediate access to the German steel firms in order to collect specific information on the composition and production techniques for German armour plate as it was recognised that this was of very high quality.

50.    If you could please tell us, what is your estimation as to the thickness of the lower glacis / nose plate of the E-100 design?

The drawings of E-100 Versuchsfahrzeuge (Test vehicle) show that glacis plate was 200mm and the lower nose plate 150mm.

And the bonus photo